How to Explain Your Salary Expectations in a Job Interview

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Daymar College

salary expectationsYou don’t want to say you expect too much and you don’t want to say you expect too little. So how are you supposed to answer the dreaded “salary expectations” question in an interview? 

When you earn your degree and enter the workforce, it is important to know what to expect moving forward. Interview preparation is a great way to gain confidence in your interviewing skills. If you know what questions to expect, and how you want to answer them, your interview can go much more smoothly. 

When your potential employer asks about your salary expectations in an interview, here are a few things to consider:

Why Employers Ask the “Salary Expectations” Question

It comes down to this: before employers invest time and money into hiring you, they want to know they can afford you. 

In her article on, Suzanne Lucas said “Candidates should not be so freaked out about sharing information. Everyone needs to remember that the job interview process is about finding the person who is the best fit for the job, and one of the things that must fit is salary.”

This is why you need to answer carefully. And even more importantly, you must answer honestly

If you’re making too much, the interviewer may feel you are overqualified. However, if you’re not making the market rate, potential employers may naturally begin wondering why. 

How to Delay Your Response If You Don’t Feel Comfortable Answering

So if you want to avoid getting placed in the “expects too much” or “questionable salary history” categories, here is one thing you can do: delay your response. 

In a recent article, gave five scenarios for delaying your response to the salary expectations interview question:

1.    When asked what salary range you are looking for, suggest talking about job requirements and expectations before thinking about the salary you want for the position. 
2.    When asked what you made at your last job, make clear that this position is different than your last job and you would like to discuss responsibilities before determining a fair salary.
3.    When asked what you expect in terms of salary, respond that you are confident the salary they pay is consistent with the rest of the market
4.    When told that a salary range is required to make an offer, respond that you would prefer they make an offer based on what they have budgeted for the position.
5.    When asked why you don’t want to give your salary expectations, respond that if the company has a good idea of what the position is worth, you would like to know their thoughts before sharing yours. 

Do Your Research and Remain Open to Proposals

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the national mean hourly wage for pharmacy technicians is $14.62, which is a salary of $30,410. But, as the BLS states, with the lowest 10% making $10.07 an hour and the highest 10% making $21.65 an hour, the salary does fluctuate.

Educating yourself on the salary range for your desired occupation is a helpful place to start. This may help you feel more comfortable to work together with your potential employer to determine a salary, rather than avoiding the question entirely. 

An article for the Harvard Business Review claims that it is important to “be aware of how you are coming off to the hiring manager or recruiter…you don’t want to appear like you’re giving a list of demands. Instead, show that you’re trying to come up with solutions that meet your needs and those of the employer. Use positive language. Demonstrate that you are open to other proposals aside from your own.” 

When it comes to salary expectations, try not to separate yourself too much from your potential employers. Feel confident enough in the position’s worth to make finding a salary that works for both you and your employer a collective, cooperative effort.  

Take a Step Toward Your Own Career

Before you start discussing your own salary expectations with potential employers, you should get your pharmacy technician training under your belt. 

At Daymar, our pharmacy technician program and career preparation services can provide you with an opportunity to jump right in to your own career. 

Contact us today for more information!